If you’re a fan of Taraji P. Henson, you’ll enjoy Proud Mary, if not, this will not be the film to win you over.
|Screenplay By||Steve Antin, John Stuart Newman, Christian Swegal|
|Mary||Taraji P. Henson|
|Danny||Jahi Di’Allo Winston|
Mary, after being raised by Benny and becoming one of his top soldiers, wants out. She’s killed enough people, dealt enough with mob politics, and after killing Danny’s dad and sending that boy through hell, she has gained a conscious. One which pushes her to raise the boy and try to provide him with the life he hasn’t really had and she hasn’t had at all.
Problem is, the things Mary is required to do to get her and Danny free from their obligations is no easy task. Especially since they both owe the kind of debts which can’t be paid in dollars but blood.
Question(s) Left Unanswered
- Did Benny possibly do something to Mary when she was growing up?
- Is it safe to assume, if there is a sequel, it will likely deal with Luka?
- Even if the gun wound missed a vital organ, how in the world was Mary walking around considering where she got shot when with Tom?
Mary and Danny’s Chemistry
Perhaps the main, if not only thing, which made this movie stand out was Mary and Danny’s relationship. Him being this kid, who seemingly within a matter of months lost any damn manners his dad, grandma, and his mother may have instilled, plays off Mary so well. Especially considering the sass Henson is known for. I mean, just think about it, some rude little boy getting smart with Taraji and her going back and forth with him.
Something, I should note, isn’t handled in as comical a way as it could have been, but was one of the few things which made this movie unlike the majority of action films out there.
The Rambo Element + Mary Just Coming Off Dumb
Full disclosure: I slightly feel bad for dodging Proud Mary for its Rambo element while for The Commuter, Liam Neeson’s character taking about of punches, being shot at, and more wasn’t giving a gig. However, the main difference is Taraji P. Henson. Now, don’t get me wrong, the main reason I saw this film was Taraji P. Henson, but she also is sort of the problem.
First off, while in her book and in interviews, Taraji talks about melting into the character and things of that nature, she is not that type of actress. Taraji is like Tom Cruise, Will Smith, and others who when you see them on screen, it is them with a different background, hairstyle, and/or occupation. Which there is nothing wrong with.
However, the issue with Proud Mary is that while this isn’t Henson’s first action movie, let’s not forget Smokin’ Aces, unfortunately, she is a star now and, based on her Build interview, she didn’t have time to properly train. Meaning, stunt-wise, what we get is very limited, and on top of that, she gets to go Rambo. That is, despite all the times she gets shot at, including automatic weapons, she only gets hit twice. Then, to make matters worse, despite being shot in the gut, all she does is take some dark liquor, perhaps pull out the bullet, and put a bandage on it and she is good.
As you see the final scenes of the movie, that doesn’t make one lick of sense. But neither does all the trouble Mary gets in for being an idiot. I mean, the majority of the situations Mary gets involved in she could have avoided and that reckless abandon adds onto the Rambo criticism for despite how many people she screws over, there is no real punishment. It’s as if she paid it forward with how terrible a childhood she had so no need to rebuke Mary for the huge amount of chaos she causes, without admitting to a damn thing.
Overall: Mixed (Divisive)
It’s a struggle to even say if you like mindless action movies you’ll love this. More so, if you are a fan of Taraji P. Henson, you’ll dig what she gives because she is consistent. However, by no means is she taking her shtick to the next level, modifying it to the point you are lost in Mary or making an iconic character. I mean, to show you how meh this film was, I was in a theater filled with Black people and they didn’t even talk in it. Which for Black films is half the damn fun of seeing the movie.
Hence the mixed label for while Taraji may still be consistent enough to be worth your hard-earned dollars, this is definitely a matinee movie. If not the type you wait to come onto a service you already pay for, like Comcast, Netflix, etc.
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We’ve seen tons of movies with hit men and hit women, but a black hit woman not so much. It was an action pack and not many surprises, however, the fight scenes were executed well and Mary was a badass with a heart.